Board of Directors Member, American Polygraph Association
President, New York State Polygraph Examiners Association
Polygraph Examiner services with offices on Long Island, in Midtown Manhattan, Westchester, Greenwich, Stamford and Fort Lauderdale
Phone Number: (516) 314-1089
Polygraph Fees The fee for an infidelity or SA polygraph exam conducted in one of our offices is $595 plus applicable state taxes. Payment by credit card or debit card is required at the time of booking the examination over the phone. You are purchasing a time slot in our testing schedule. 100% retainer fee is required for all clients, at the time of booking an exam. Please note that retainers are non-refundable and appointments are non-refundable and non-reschedulable.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a polygraph? The polygraph is a scientific instrument which records and displays physiological responses to test items. Modern instrumentation is computerized and includes specialized software to aid the examiner. The word polygraph comes from Greek words meaning “many writings.” It denotes the multiple tracings that polygraphs display. The word itself can be traced at least to mid-19th century scientific writings regarding a device for recording various channels of physiological activity for medical purposes. Today polygraph almost always refers to the device used for veracity testing.
What does the polygraph record? Today’s polygraph records five or more channels of physiological data. Two corrugated tubes are placed around the body, one just above the heart and the other over the stomach to detect motion associated with breathing. Changes in skin moisture are monitored with sensors placed on the fingers or palms. Pulse and relative blood pressure are detected using a standard blood pressure cuff placed on the arm. Many instruments also record changes in blood vessel dilation using a finger sensor and all polygraphs now include sensors to detect body movement. Each component is very sensitive to bodily changes. From the beginning to the end of the test, a person’s body emits physiological data that will be later reviewed by the polygraph examiner to determine if the examinee was telling the truth. Is the examination confidential? Yes, the test is completely confidential. Disclosure of the results is limited to those listed in an agreement signed by the examinee and the examiner prior to the examination unless otherwise specified by law.
How long does a polygraph examination take? Most polygraph examinations take between 90 and 120 minutes, the majority of which entails a standardized interview before the testing phase. Examinations may take longer when covering complex issues. Polygraph examinations taking less than an hour have been reported, though the shortest of examinations are often associated with unvalidated or invalid procedures. Can nervousness affect the test results? Everyone who takes a polygraph examination is nervous. It is expected. As everyone knows, anxiety can elevate one’s heart rate, blood pressure and other physiological functions. During polygraph testing, however, this heightened state becomes the examinee’s normal pattern. Having a higher blood pressure does not cause a person to fail a polygraph examination. Examiners are only interested in changes to the person’s normal pattern. While examiners take steps to reduce the jitters most examinees experience, there is no evidence that anxiety itself causes truthful people to fail or deceptive people to pass polygraph testing.
Can someone be with me when I take the polygraph? Examinees can certainly have someone accompany them to the examination site. Third parties are not permitted in the test room except when they are necessary for the conduct of the exam (e.g., interpreters). By special arrangement the session may be recorded or monitored remotely, subject to conditions and agreements.
Can anyone beat a polygraph examination? It is true that all things made by man can be defeated. The biggest challenge for beating a polygraph, however, is that it entails a significant risk of detection which, in these days of sophisticated software and recording equipment, makes success far from certain. Indeed, trying to affect the results can make things worse. Recent scientific research offers little hope for people relying on websites and books on how to beat the polygraph, and there is some evidence that the use of these methods by truth-telling examinees reduces their chances of passing the test. For these reasons we discourage examinees from trying to affect their test results.
What are the advantages of using an APA member to conduct a polygraph examination? Not all polygraph examiners are APA members, and it is important to know the difference. Those who wish to qualify as APA members must have successfully completed an accredited polygraph education program meeting rigorous APA requirements. As APA members they are also required to maintain their continuing education hours. Those who want to practice certain specialties have additional requirements. All APA members are bound by the APA Bylaws, Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, and must use only evidence-based valid polygraph procedures. Members also benefit from APA’s peer-reviewed publication to keep them apprised of the latest developments in techniques, technologies, and best practices. The APA sponsors educational seminars as well as online professional development not available elsewhere which ensures its members have access to the best information for conducting valid and reliable polygraph examinations. The APA is the largest professional polygraph association in the world. It attracts examiners who are committed to delivering the best possible polygraph services. To repeat: Not all polygraph examiners are APA members, and it is important to know the difference.
How accurate is the polygraph? There are several polygraph approaches and applications, and polygraph accuracy is not the same for all of them. In a 2003 meta-analysis conducted by the US National Research Council, median accuracy was placed between 85% and 90% for event-specific testing or testing on single issues. This estimate was based on a range of polygraph techniques, from the unvalidated to the experimental to the best available. Subsequent research that focused only on techniques that employed empirically derived practices converged on a decision accuracy near or slightly above 90%.
Lower accuracy is expected in multiple-issue and screening testing. Those accuracies will vary as a function of how many relevant questions are used and how broad they are: the fewer number and scope of relevant questions will produce the best accuracy. As with all assessment methods, accuracy can be affected by the training and competency of the testing examiner. In a meta- analysis conducted by the US National Research Council, the median accuracy of mixed issue testing or testing on multiple issues was placed between 80% and 84%.
What are some considerations that could make someone unsuitable for a polygraph test? Conditions that would render a person unsuitable:
Severe developmental impairments
Drug or alcohol induced impairment
Anyone who is not able to consent to participate in the examination
Anyone under the age of consent* (in some circumstances parents may provide consent on behalf of their child)
Anyone who is unable to remain seated and still for seven minutes at a time.
Anyone in extreme distress
Health conditions that preclude the placement of the polygraph sensors
Note: An examinee experiencing a temporary illness may be rescheduled to take the examination after their recovery from the illness.
"But too often, Ribacoff says, we want to believe the best about people, so we wind up suppressing that intuition. “We have human intuition built into us from caveman days—fight, flight, freeze, or surrender,” he says. “And people wind up killing that [intuition], and that’s how they become victims. They’ll actually turn their own radar systems off.”
So how can you tell if someone is being dishonest? Ribacoff says that there are physiological changes that happen in your body when you lie. The polygraph machine is an instrument that was created to measure these changes.
“The polygraph is actually several medical instruments that were put together to detect physiological changes that take place in the human body when a person lies,” Ribacoff says. “The truth is in your memory. Your memory is like the hard drive in your computer—record found, no record found,” he explains. “When you give me the truth, your brain is not working very hard, because it’s accessing information that is already there or not there. When you want to lie, your brain must work harder. You have to create the lie, usually by accessing information that is already in your brain, and mixing the two: lie and truth. And then you have to express the lie in a way that seems credible.”
Ribacoff says that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans show that when someone tells the truth, they use only about seven parts of their brain. But when they lie, they have to use about 15 parts of their brain.
He compares the experience of watching a polygraph machine work to watching a mechanic check a car engine. “Your brain really goes into ‘rev the engine’ mode when you lie,” he says.
In fact, the human brain and a car motor are actually quite similar in what they need to operate. Just as an engine needs fuel, oxygen, and cooling to run properly, the brain needs blood, oxygen, and cooling. “When you lie, you call for more blood, your blood pressure increases, your heart rate [increases], your oxygenation of that blood has to increase,” Ribacoff says. “And your sweat glands have to activate, otherwise your brain will overheat.” These bodily changes, all medical in nature, are how the polygraph does its work. “You can’t feel it, you can’t control it. But we can measure it.” Obviously, you’re not going to be able to hook everyone you suspect of lying up to a polygraph machine. Even if you could, you wouldn’t want to. The process is tedious. A lot of preparation goes into a polygraph interview, and the test often has to be done three to five times. And although it’s not true that a polygraph machine can be “beat,” it is possible to deceive an inexperienced examiner.
There is no way to beat a polygraph instrument,” Ribacoff says. “[But] you can defeat the examiner.” The internet is full of misinformation on how to “beat” a polygraph. “Really, none of it works, because an experienced examiner will see that [the behavior is] not natural,” says Ribacoff, adding, “because there’s only one reason to try to beat a polygraph test: You’re lying!”"
- Excerpt from "How To Tell When Someone Is Lying (Without Using A Machine)" By Matt Grant
T: 631-332-2213 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Licensed in the State of New York, the State of Florida, the State of Connecticut, the State of Maine, the State of Texas, and the State of Massachusetts. License Pending IN: New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Arizona.
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology – SUNY Binghamton, 1980 Master of Social Work – Adelphi University School of Social Work, 1982. Private Practice – "Mind Over Matters," 2006. LCSW License #078530-1 APSATS The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists CSAT Certified Sex Addiction Therapist IITAP The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals CCPS Certified Clinical Partner Specialist